WaPo editors: Obama being deceptive on McCain’s regulatory record

posted at 11:20 am on September 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s assault on John McCain over his record on financial regulation draws the ire of the Washington Post editorial board.  Calling Obama “deceptive”, they note that while McCain has opposed federal regulation as a rule, he has fought for tougher oversight on the very functions that failed in the credit-sector meltdown.  They also note that Obama has been invisible on this issue until this week:

TO LISTEN to Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain is a Johnny-come-lately to the cause of regulating financial markets. “He has consistently opposed the sorts of common-sense regulations that might have lessened the current crisis,” Mr. Obama said in New Mexico yesterday. “When I was warning about the danger ahead on Wall Street months ago because of the lack of oversight, Senator McCain was telling the Wall Street Journal — and I quote — ‘I’m always for less regulation.’ ”

But the full quotation from Mr. McCain’s March interview with the Journal’s editorial board belies Mr. Obama’s one-sided rendition. The Republican candidate went on to say, “But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight. I think we found this in the subprime lending crisis — that there are people that game the system and if not outright broke the law, they certainly engaged in unethical conduct which made this problem worse. So I do believe that there is role for oversight.” …

In 2006, he pushed for stronger regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — while Mr. Obama was notably silent. “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole,” Mr. McCain warned at the time.

The editors also point out a massive hypocrisy on the part of Obama when pushing this line of attack:

One element of the Obama campaign’s brief against Mr. McCain is that he supported repeal of the law separating commercial banks from investment banks. “He’s spent decades in Washington supporting financial institutions instead of their customers,” Mr. Obama said yesterday. “Phil Gramm, one of the architects of the deregulation in Washington that led directly to this mess on Wall Street, is also the architect of John McCain’s economic plan.” Would it be churlish to point out that another author of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law is former congressman Jim Leach, a founder of Republicans for Obama? Or that Obama advisers Lawrence H. Summers and Robert E. Rubin supported the repeal — which was signed by President Bill Clinton?

Obama can keep talking about Phil Gramm all day long. McCain can point to Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines as Obama advisers. Obama will lose that conversation every time.

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Obama is a corrupt Sell OUT!

Chakra Hammer on September 19, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Wow! WaPo is one of the lefty newspapers. What gives? There have been several of these types of things lately.

mwdiver on September 19, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Maybe it is dawning on them that they are loosing credibility.

Count to 10 on September 19, 2008 at 2:26 PM

But the full quotation from Mr. McCain’s March interview with the Journal’s editorial board belies Mr. Obama’s one-sided rendition.

(emphasis added)

The use of the verb “belies” is extremely strong language…they have called Sen. Obama a liar.

Blaise on September 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM

but Kurtz and Obama says we shouldn’t beleive the WaPo?

I’m confused

jp on September 19, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Pre-emptive strike on the editorial board.

petunia on September 19, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Let’s ask the McCain Reform Institute how much money they have funneled to lobby the Senate Commerce Committee that McCain sits on and chaired twice. Let’s ask McCain’s campaign chairman Rick Davis what his lobbyist income was from Verizon and Cablevision when Mccain was chairman of the committee.

Reform may ass.

Fletch54 on September 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Okay let’s do that. I don’t think Obama really wants his record exposed and I think John McCain is fine with his record. So if the Obama folks want to start following the money let’s do that by all means…

We on this side will be the first to desert McCain if it turned out he was hiding something. We want clean government. But it has to be completely bi-partisan. And I don’t see how that will ever happen in this climate.

Has your side even once questioned Obama? You won’t even look at truth. We already have.

We aren’t afraid of that challange in the least!

But reality is that no one will ever examine Obama fairly. From what I have seen in the little tiny bits of inform ation that make it through the filter–Obama is more crooked than any that have run before him. So bring it.
But bring it fairly.

petunia on September 19, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Okay, so McCain tells “lies.” But Obama is “deceptive.”

I don’t understand how McCain can be behind in the polls, given the anger Obama has got to be inspiring.

CornFedBeauty on September 19, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Obama is such a liar.

Terrye on September 19, 2008 at 5:17 PM

Two months is an awfully long time to get the word out on Obama. McCain’s Navy seem like they’re reacting quickly to events on the ground. This should have a telling effect on the BHO campaign as the Chicago style politics show through.

Mojave Mark on September 19, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Will the WAPO editors be fired for telling the truth and challenging the “ONE”????

azcop on September 19, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Only if Obama is elected…

Kevin71 on September 20, 2008 at 1:47 AM